Tues 19 April
18 miles (ish); 3800'
Overcast start, clearing to increasingly sunny intervals
Our day didn't get off to the best start. ODP is so well waymarked that one can get rather lax in navigation. That can cause a bit of an issue when either a waymark is missing or you miss one. Within five minutes of setting out this morning, having passed a marker and not seeing anything else, we merrily continued on the same path until Mick asked me to confirm we hadn't gone awry. We had, and thus within the first five minutes we had added half a mile to our day (by the time we realised our deviation it was easier to go around Herrock Hill than backtracking to go over it).
Things did then go more smoothly, or as smoothly as such a violently undulating day can go. Moreover, my fears of the last few days that I had dreamed our 2008 walk along ODP (a fear based on recalling almost nothing from the last couple of days' route) were disproved as lots and lots of today was familiar, right down to "isn't there a tap available for walkers in the next farmyard?" (there was).
Perhaps the reason for the recollections of today's route was because whereas the last few days have involved a lot of low-level fields which look very much like any number of other fields we've walked through over the years, today majored in very fine surroundings.
The LEJOGer who we met yesterday (grahamslongwalk.wordpress.com) was met again about 2.5 miles before Knighton and it seems that we must have spent last night camped about half a kilometre away from each other, as the crow flies (the path at that point takes a circuitous three-sides-of-a-square route around a field).
After a further chatette with him, on we strode to Knighton where the first cafe we saw was chosen as our lunch venue. A good choice we later declared, as the omelettes were huge and well-stuffed, the salad fresh and the pile of chips home-cut.
Just what you need after a big lunch is eight miles of further undulations and the pull out of Knighton is a little steep. What views from the top, though! By then it was so warm and sunny that we got down to our shirtsleeves for the first time since Day 1.
Only one group of three people was seen heading south from Knighton to Kington this morning, but the section just north of Knighton was more popular, with six people seen in the latter stages of our day, one of whom paused for a chat.
We don't usually consider 18 miles to be a long day, but with the cumulative effect of the number of undulations today (none was individually significant; the biggest was only 450'), it felt longer, so by the time we pulled up our final incline to Quarry House B&B, it was just gone 1630 and we were more than happy to have reached our destination. We were even happier when shown our room; this place is rating highly in our opinions so far.